Online sales keep soaring while in-store numbers stay flat

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  Mercator Overviews  by Brian Riley

With those numbers, analysts predict that people will spend about $107 billion online this holiday season. But this year, Cyber Monday sales are projected to set new records.

American shoppers spent a record $5 billion online in 24 hours, an increase of 16.9 percent in dollars spent on the internet from Black Friday in 2016. $7.50 of every $10 spent by consumers online with the top 500 USA retailers go through Adobe Experience Cloud. Adobe Analytics is projecting Cyber Monday 2017 could be the biggest USA online shopping day ever.

E-commerce, however, is again expected to show the most growth. In fact, traffic to brick-and-mortar stores only dropped 1.6% year-over-year on Thanksgiving and Black Friday combined, according to research from ShopperTrak, a Tyco brand. Records were broken as they processed a 976 transactions per second between 12pm and 1pm compared to last year's peak of 791 transactions per second. The practice, known as showrooming, has been hard to combat.

Fair weather across much of the nation also was factor, said National Retail Federation President Matthew Shay.

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Shopping and buying on smartphones is becoming the new norm and can be attributed to continued optimizations in the retail experience on mobile devices and platforms. He singled out Walmart.com and BestBuy.com for offering the lowest prices for some items available only in-store.

"People increasingly know where to find the best deals and what they want to purchase, which results in less price matching behavior typically done on desktops", the executive added. Toys" R " Us, which filed for bankruptcy earlier this year, offered 15 percent items site-wide and another 25 percent off all Hasbro games online. "While the retail industry has banked on aggressive discounts weeks before Black Friday and Cyber Monday to boost consumer spending, they need to make sure that this does not sacrifice margins in the long term".

Just because the end is not here for brick-and-mortar stores does not mean traditional retailers have nothing to fear.

However, despite the rise in online shopping, it seems that the slowdown in physical store sales hasn't been as severe as expected. The brick-and-mortar retailers are left with nearly no defense of their century-old business model.

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